Here are the ten most-popular articles by just-drinks regular beer commentators in 2017

Here are the ten most-popular articles by just-drinks' regular beer commentators in 2017

With the end of the year looming, just-drinks takes a look back at 2017. Here are the ten most-read comment pieces written by our beer commentators - led by Stephen Beaumont - over the last 12 months.

10. Moderation - a golden opportunity for the beer category

'Dry January' may be over for another year, but the concept continues to divide opinion. While some will be feeling proud of their achievement, others will have succumbed to the odd cheeky pint. The rest will just be relieved to have their mates back in the pub.

9. Kirin's troubles in Brazil - When BRIC markets go horribly wrong

The general intention of Japan's drinks companies to break out of their domestic market has been a headline of the last six years, at least. January's confirmation that Kirin Holdings is looking to pull out of Brazil, however, shows the pitfalls of this strategy. Indeed, the fact that this is playing out in one of the fabled BRIC markets serves to bring the strategy into worrying relief.

8. Is it time for brewers to drop 'craft' for 'independent'?

Over the summer, two craft beer trade associations offered members promotional material designed to highlight their independent ownership status. Here, beer commentator Stephen Beaumont considers whether this means the end of the road for the much-debated 'craft' term.

7. Cannabis beer - how the times are changing

When Heineken took full control of Lagunitas Brewing Co earlier this year, the Dutch brewer's management would have known full well what they were getting into: The two had already been in a 50/50 partnership for some months. Which is why Heineken shouldn't have been surprised in August when Lagunitas rolled out a new IPA brewer with components taken from cannabis.

6. Is FEMSA trying to bloody Heineken's nose with stake sale?

On the surface, it looks pretty clear-cut. Give it a scratch, though, and there could be a little more to FEMSA's Heineken stake sale than first meets the eye.

5. Is 'innovation' a dirty word in the beer industry?

Stephen Beaumont looks at the innovation record of the brewing multinationals and finds them heavily reliant on the smaller, craft players out there.

4. Scale or Stale - M&A options for craft brewers looking to grow their business

Craft beer has become the fastest-growing - and the most competitive - segment of the global beer market. With more than 1,700 craft breweries in the UK and over 5,200 in the US, the sector has a 12.3% market share of the total beer category and is starting to present a challenge to the growth of large breweries.

3. Why the threat of excess choice in beer is over-stated

A theory has formed in the beer industry in recent months that the sheer range of brews on offer is leading to consumer fatigue. Stephen Beaumont considers the evidence supporting and countering this theory.

2. Will the latest attack on the big brewers stick?

Rarely a week goes by without the multinational brewers being given a hard time by someone or other. However, a flare-up in the UK in September caught the attention of Stephen Beaumont.

1. Are big brewers buying craft brands to benefit big beer?

Amid all the furore each time another craft brewer joins the other side, Stephen Beaumont explores the strategy behind the larger players' forays in the segment.

For the full list of just-drinks' Top Tens for 2017, click here


Expert analysis

Battle of the Generations - The fight for iGen, Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer consumers

Battle of the Generations - The fight for iGen, Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer consumers

Different consumer age groups now have very different expectations and relationships with brands. Understanding what those are, and developing ways to influence them, is becoming increasingly crucial more